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I am writing with a deep sense of gratitude and pride today to
celebrate your church’s full participation in apportionment
giving. In offering my profound thanks I want to be clear.
This is not a small thing.
As United Methodists, we talk a great deal about being
Connectional. This is part of the genius of John Wesley that
continues to bless us today. However, talk of being connectional
means little if our actions are not congruent with what we
Our second pastor was Dr. Martin C. Briggs, who succeeded Isaac
Owen in 1850. Briggs was the only pastor to serve three terms in
our church: 1850- 1851; 1863-1865; and 1875-1878. He was born in
New York state, united with the Erie Conference in 1845, and came
to California in the spring of 1850. Unlike Owen, who had come
overland to California, Briggs came by ship to Panama and made
the hazardous fifty-mile crossing of the Isthmus, contracting the
often-deadly Panama fever in the process. From there he and two
other Methodist preachers traveled by steamer to San
March 30, 2014Eileen Riesinger, Chair of Reconciling Committee
On March 20, 2014, approximately 60 members from 14 congregations
attended a news conference at Elk Grove UMC. Channels 3, 10, 13,
40, 19 (Spanish) were in attendance.
Spokespeople from several congregations who adopted the
Declaration of Inclusion, described an initiative that is
spreading, not just in the West but nationally. The Declaration
is a statement by church members, speaking through their Church
Councils (Our Leadership Committee) for a truly open church
offering same sex weddings and holy unions. First Church is a
part of this endeavor.
The Board of Trustees has approved a contract for repair of our
roof near the bell tower. Work will begin soon.
Trustees will sponsor an all church workday on Saturday, May 10.
Everyone is welcome to help with weeding, some light painting,
landscape enhancements, general cleaning and minor repairs. Work
will begin at 9 a.m., concluding at 1 p.m. with lunch
The United Methodist Women of our California-Nevada Annual
Conference will be holding their annual Legislative Event at
FUMC. Focus Issue: Race Race and the Environment Race and the
Justice System Race and the Media
To register, send an $18 check made payable to CA/NV Conference
UMW to the Registrar, Lynette Jung, 3916 Loma Vista Ave.,
Oakland, CA 94619. For questions, call Anna Noble, Social Actions
Mission Coordinator, (510) 798-7511
MOMS will hold their semiannual bake sale on Sunday, April 13
after church. Cookies, breads, cakes, pies, and cupcakes will be
available. Proceeds from the event will be used for local
church children’s programs. Let our excellent cooks help
with your Spring baking and Easter dinner and support local
church programs at the same time!
We are going to the coast this year. The camp out is scheduled
for July 10 to July 14 at Van Damme State Park, located about 3
miles south of Mendocino. This is group camping, so even if you
are new to camping or have little experience, you have friends to
Keep your eye out for more information to come. We will be
providing more information as the date approaches and be taking
Questions? Contact Gary and Phyllis Varney. Their contact
information is available by calling the church office at
As I write this note to you, three hundred and forty young people
are gathered in the church facility as part of the California
State All Honor High School Choir. A group of singers is
rehearsing in the courtyard, practicing “How Lovely is Thy
Dwelling Place,” by Johannes Brahms. This is one of my favorite
pieces and the sound of it wafting through the courtyard and into
my office is beautiful indeed.
In a growing church, it is important to connect names with faces,
of both new members, as well as old. We can only do that if
everyone’s photograph is on our hallway picture board. Those who
had their picture taken for the current directory are already on
the board. If your picture is not there, Gary Varney is available
most Sundays, after church to take your photograph.